Yesterday I talked about a pitching prospect I liked in Lucas Giolito, so today I figured I would write about another right handed pitching prospect I like. Unlike Giolito Dylan Bundy has actually been in the news lately. Not for a good thing either, he got injured again and they are shutting him down. This kid I thought was going to be something special. He made his MLB debut at the age of 19 (!) he just came up in late September of ’12 but as a pitcher that’s pretty good. Then in ’13 doesn’t make the team out of spring goes to the minors and ends up injured has to have Tommy John surgery at 20 years old. No big deal. Then last year he’s still only 21 so they take their time making sure not to rush him back too soon and didn’t get to the majors last year. Now he’s 22 and still hasn’t made it back to the majors and then gets injured and probably going to get shut down for the remainder of the year. I almost feel bad for him I still think he’ll be pretty good when he comes back but it’s just unfortunate for him. Oh I didn’t mention he’s on the Orioles.
I couldn’t think of anything to write about so today I’m going to write about one of my favorite prospects, Lucas Giolito. He is the highest ranked pitching prospect and he just so happens to be a National as well. I think he has great potential and he really intrigues me. To begin with he’s a giant on the mound at 6’6″ 255 pounds that is just a monster out there 60 feet 6 inches away. With an imposing figure brings a big fastball usually he can throw the heat, touching 100 mph. Let’s just talk about his tools for a minute, if you remember the 20-80 scale 50 is MLB average, 55-65 is above average, and 70-80 is great. He has an 80 fastball like I said around 100 mph with ease. A 70 curveball which is obviously very good. He could get by and be a very good pitcher with just those 2 pitches. But he also has a developing change up its still an above average pitch at 55 but as he moves through the minors he might develop it into a great pitch. He’s only 20 years old and already had Tommy John surgery that’s actually a good thing he’s gotten it out the way early. He might be a year away but he has ace stuff so yes the Nationals might have another ace on their hands.
Jason Heyward has been on fire lately and deserves a little recognition. I’ve recently wrote about the Cardinals when Matt Holliday and Matt Adams got injured asking who was going to step up? I think that question has been answered with flying colors. Since Holliday went down Jhey has stepped up in a big way. I’ll get to Heyward’s hot streak in a minute, first the Cardinals as a whole. Both the Pirates and the Cubs are over .500 but the Cardinals are just a ridiculous 48-24. That is the best record in the NL by a landslide. With all the injuries I thought for they would slow down a little but I was wrong. I definitely thought they were still a very good team of course but being the best in the NL by about 6 games, I could not have predicted that.
Like I said Jason Heyward has been on a crazy hot streak the last couple weeks. Over the last 12 games Jhey has hit .391 with 4 homers and 10 rbis! That’s pretty great for a guy who, according to most, has underachieved his entire career. And I would probably be considered in the most category. Ever since he was a prospect he had ridiculous potential he could easily be a player with all 5 tools. There are not too many of those around and he had the potential to be one, a really good one at that. Jhey’s first game, he makes the team out of spring training (not too many prospects do) he comes up for his first career at bat against a pretty good pitcher in Carlos Zambrano, hits a long homerun. Made the all star that year as well then he gets injured and what has he done since? A gold glove defender in right but not much else. He started out so hot there’s nothing else to do except go downhill. Since Holliday got injured Jason Heyward is slugging well over .700! If he can keep this level of offensive production up then maybe he’ll turn some of his doubters. He’s only 25 years old so he’s got a year before his prime so maybe he is the player he’s potential suggests it just took him a little longer than others.
I know I’m a little late writing about Arod’s 3,000 hit but you got to remember I really don’t care for Arod. I think what he did after the biogenesis scandal was so disgusting I actually did lose all respect for him. I just cannot believe how he acted, it actually makes me sick thinking about it. You get caught cheating ok man up admit it and suffer the consequences. Don’t try to buy people off and threaten to kill them if they blab. All that should have happened was he appealed once he lost serve his suspension but lose all his fans in the process. But no he comes back and the Yankee fans act like nothing happened they literally wanted him out they hated him too in ’13. I don’t understand how you could root for a guy like that. Yay 3,000 hits good job that’s it that’s all that should’ve happened for him not the standing ovation and it still being talked about. He doesn’t deserve it at all cheaters cheat not a big secret but he shouldn’t get praised for it. Look at Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire steroid users have the numbers for the HOF but people a lot smarter than simple fans are not voting for them because they don’t deserve the praise. McGwire is the only one who actually came clean and manned up. Arod “came clean” too I put it in quotes because he lied to everyone. I didn’t believe he stopped using for one second like he said. He went to New York and continued to put up big numbers. But yet he quit roids yeah right only fans probably believed that.
One more thing on Arod if you think he quit using you’re crazy. So you’re telling me that a guy in ’12 and ’13 could barely hit his weight with steroids but now he’s hitting good without them? That’s just crazy to think that. There are text messages out there from Arod to his steroid guy that literally say he can’t hit without them. Steroids are so far ahead of drug testing its not funny. I’m not saying the drug testing is bad I’m just saying there is so many ways around it. Arod tested positive for the first time in ’13 but according to his supplier he was/is an avid user for over a decade. We’re never going to completely abolish cheaters in our game but I don’t think there deserving of so much praise.
If you haven’t noticed by now my favorite team is the Washington Nationals. Like every night I was watching the Nats game, after a 2 hour rain delay that is. It was Stephen Strasburgs return from the DL to say the least I was excited for it. I’m going to talk a little about how Stras pitched yesterday but first the Nats as a whole. It’s been a roller coaster year for them because so many players have been bitten by the injury bug already this season. The rotation is finally whole again with the return of Strasburg and Fister. Tanner Roark and Joe Ross pitched great in their absence but Ross went down to AAA and Roark is back to relief work. The lineup has had their share of problems as well, Span, Rendon and Werth started the season on the DL. Span has been back for awhile and leading off while playing outstanding defense in center. Rendon just recently came back and wasn’t hitting great up until last night where he went 4-4. Werth is back on the DL and I don’t think he’s too close to a return. On top of that now Ryan Zimmerman is injured too, we all know Bryce Harper is putting up ridiculous numbers but hopefully somebody else can supply some power to that lineup.
Now on to the start from Stephen Strasburg last night. In his first start back he went 5 scoreless with 6 strikeouts and only 1 walk. It was a great start for him if you watched his starts from earlier this year it’s easy to tell something was wrong. When you’re a pitcher and you have a small injury, like muscle spasms or something, you’ll start to subconsciously try to correct by tweaking your delivery a little. Then either the injury will get worse or it’ll heal and your mechanics are all screwed up because you changed them. That goes for hitting too when it comes to your swing. For Strasburg I think it was more of the latter, I think he strained a muscle or something and then over corrected. Last night you can see the little adjustments he made like he would start he’s hands a little lower and he would land a little bit different. It was just the small things that seemed to work. He was throwing 97-98 with ease with the same nasty curveball and nasty change up he has always had. Based on last night I would say it’s going to be the same ole Stephen Strasburg for the rest of the year.
So I was watching the highlights from last nights games and saw Albert Pujols jacked two homers. He has been pretty hot this month so I figured he deserved a little attention. The Angels themselves are still just barely over .500 at 36-35. Yes they have Trout and Pujols but other than that they don’t have squat. I wouldn’t be shocked if they ended up in the playoffs but my opinion is that they going to hover around .500 all year.
Now about Pujols, like I said he has been hot like better than ever hot. Over the last 24 games he’s hitting .350+ with 15 homers and 30 rbis that’s insane! That’s an absolute ridiculous stretch for a 35 year old that everyone thought was done for. That’s even better than he ever did in St. Louis and he was one of the best hitters ever during his time with the Cards. Then he chased the money out to LA and didn’t produce, not saying he was bad but he wasn’t the Albert Pujols the Angels thought they were getting when the forked over the cash. Am I saying he’s back to his original self? No, he’s still over 30 and he hasn’t been constantly healthy over the last couple years. He stats right now aren’t setting the world on fire or anything. Only hitting .275 with 23 homers and 47 rbis so not too great. But if he continues tearing the cover off the ball like lately he could be looking at another MVP. I can’t guarantee he’ll continue this but I’ve watched his swing and it looks like vintage Albert.
I’m kind of fired up about this subject so I might go on a little bit of a rant. On Saturday the Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer threw a no-hitter which should’ve been a perfect game. I watched the whole game of course, my superstition is that I don’t even touch the remote until the Nats give up a hit. So I’ve seen other no hitters and stuff but I can’t remember one as enjoyable. Mad Max just had this attitude out there like “I’m going to get you out so get over it” to everyone. I remember later in the game he would get two strikes one someone and he’s looking at the catcher like “give me the ball!” Then smacks his glove down once he gets it, next thing you knew he was already in his windup here comes the pitch. The announcers were saying he was stalking his prey. It was a masterful game he just had the look.
This just makes me angry to talk about. What Jose Tabata did to ruin Max Scherzers perfect game was just surprising to me that he didn’t show any remorse. Just a random bench player called on to pinch hit with two out in the 9th inning and you lean in get nicked by an inside slider? And you don’t care that you spoiled a perfect game by letting it hit your Evo Shield instead of simply backing up? 6-0 game absolutely no reason just get out of the way. It’s not like it was 95 right into his back because Max lost his grip on it, no it was a mid 80’s slider that backed up a little too far. You can even tell by where the catchers glove was if Tabata didn’t move at all it just would of been an inside pitch but Tabata had to put his elbow down so it could hit him. What really gets me is that Tabata was just a pinch hitter if Scherzer struck you out a couple times and you decide to wear one so you could bust up the perfect game, I’d understand that a little more than facing him once and not getting out of the way of a slider. Still got the no-hitter so congrats to mad Max. One more thing on Scherzer his last two games, 18 innings 1 hit 1 walk and 26 strikeouts! That’s an historic two game stretch.